Simpsons Illustrated, Vol 1
The first series of Simpsons Illustrated comics were published between 1991 and 1993, and read half as a fan magazine, and half as a publication within the Simpsons universe, including mock advertisements, news articles and fake products.
Today I’ll be looking through Vol 1 and posting my favorite bits. If you notice anything in the index you’d like to see, tell me so in the comments, and I will scan it for you. Speaking of index:
A couple of stand-out articles were “They Never Think Evil Thoughts” and the Springfield Shopper Insert. The first is an interview with animation directors David Silverman and Wes Archer. Some of the questions they answer about the characters and thematic intent seem somewhat incomplete to me, such as the quote that led to the title:
“What is something a Simpsons character would never do? They never think evil thoughts.”
As smarmy as it is to disagree with actual directors of animation for the show, I do. To me, the casually evil thoughts are what make it such a good show. They do, however, offer some great insight about using cinema, music, artwork and pop culture as inspiration for their storytelling and animation. There are also little side-goodies in the interview, like this Do’s and Don’ts guide for animators.
The shopping insert was a newspaper stapled to the middle of the magazine, and so help me I couldn’t bring myself to rip it out, so I only read a small p0rtion of it. It contained in-universe Simpsons articles, including one reporting on the nuclear power plant hiring unenthusiastic and underqualified high school dropouts.
Another fun little feature was the Simpsons Simplified, a social family tree of sorts .
Krusty demands brand loyalty:
Woah, Hey, Arnold… I didn’t know you got your start in Simpsons Illustrated!